I grew up believing the ideals of this country– that we are created equal and are afforded rights equally. It is so ingrained in me that even at my age, I do still believe it. I live it. But that doesn’t meant that I do not see the inequality that continues to thrive in our society because I do. And ever since the White House changed hands, the disparity of ideals has shown with alarming and disappointing consistency.
Suddenly people think that they can say horrible things and when called on it, say that they’re tired of being told to be “PC.” Since when does being a thoughtful and compassionate human being been such a bad thing? Why is it so wrong for people to believe in equality? Why shouldn’t someone doing their job expect to be compensated without regard to their race or gender? And if someone does their job, why should they be “grateful” for earning their way and being compensated for it? Also, aren’t we allowed to peaceably protest the injustice that exists in this world?
I bought into the ideals of this country and I have gone through most of my life not being openly judged as a woman or a person of color. No one has blamed me for their own misfortune. Maybe I’ve been lucky. Maybe people look at me as an Asian woman and shrug because they think I’m harmless and I know “my place.” Maybe being married to my husband gives me a pass. Or maybe I’ve been lucky enough to be around people who believe the same as I do– we are equal.
Having worked with law enforcement, I am sensitive to blanket criticism of the men and women who risk their lives daily to protect citizens. But having worked with law enforcement also means I have known men and women who were quick to resort to the “us vs. them” mentality. I fell into that mentality too. I know that most of the men and women of law enforcement are good people who believe in helping and protecting all of us just as I know there are a very very few who take the little power they have and wield like total degenerates.
The state of our world has become divisive and restless. Instead of trying to unify all of us, the current White House resident seems hellbent on ripping everything apart. And people are falling for it because perhaps we all just love being in conflict. But this kind of conflict, pitting Americans against fellow Americans, will end up destroying us. Anyone with any capacity to see the big picture can see this.
I will go on with my life believing in the ideals of this country even though there are people in this country who don’t believe I should have the same rights whether because of my gender or race or even age. I will live my life with a positive eye, looking for beauty and joy. I will acknowledge the dissonance and injustice but I will not let it sour my spirit. I will do my part to spread joy and not let the negative attitudes dissuade me. I will strive to remember it’s not “us vs. them” but rather just US. We all deserve good lives that include education, health, jobs, and freedom…